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Labor Unions' Cash Infusion Stimulates St. Louis Home Sales
CNBC.com | March 23, 2012 | 12:05 PM EDT

Anthony Foote and his wife were hoping to buy a new home, but were having trouble making the numbers work. Then the builder offered them $10,000 to close the deal.

“If it hadn’t been for that, we might still be number crunching," says Foote. "It came right on time and helped everything go smoothly.” They closed in February and plan on moving in to their newly built home this summer.

The money didn’t come from the builder, it came from local labor unions. Their aim is to help stimulate demand to boost sales to create work.

John Stewart oversees the program for the Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis. “Actually partnering with the developer home builder to help them reach their goal of selling houses paid off for us because our guys work on 90 percent of the homes built in this area.”

Eight local builders and nine unions joined forces to create a stimulus program for new home buyers. It is thought to be the only program of its kind in the country. The unions, which include independent business owners such as carpenters, plumbers, cement masons and electrical workers put up $600,000 from their industry advancement programs to fund the stimulus.

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